Tuesday, February 1, 2011

National Wear Red Day...

This Friday is National Wear Red day in the United States. While I know every day, week, and month seem to have one special connotation or another, Wear Red is one that matters to all of us. It’s about heart disease in women and the odds are pretty good that you are or will be one, or you love at least one.

It was thought for longer than any of us wants to acknowledge that heart disease was an ailment confined to men. Only in recent years has it come to light that it is the Number One killer of women. Like many of you, I’ve read and heard more statistics than I can possibly absorb, so I’ll apologize for the repetition, but here are some things you need to know.

• As women grow older, their risk of heart disease and stroke begins to rise and keeps rising with age.

• If you have a family history of heart disease, this increases your risk. So does being African-American. Women who've had a heart attack are at higher risk of having a second heart attack.

• Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular heart disease among women.

• High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease.

• High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack.

• Physical inactivity is not your friend. The American Heart Association recommends accumulating at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most or all days of the week.

• If you have too much fat — especially if a lot of it is located in your waist area — you're at higher risk for health problems, including high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, high triglycerides, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

• Adults with diabetes have have heart disease death rates that are two to four times those of adults without diabetes.
These statistics are from the American Heart Association, and they’re not kidding, not the least little bit. Unfortunately, they are dead serious. We need to pay attention, because we all have things to do. Projects to finish. Jokes to tell and tears to shed. I know that no matter how we do or don’t take care of ourselves, life’s time clock isn’t ours to punch. That said, I think we should do all we can to keep from clocking out early.

While writing this, I thought about the women I care about. My mother-in-law, granddaughters, sister and sisters-in-law, nieces and friends. And my girls. Especially my girls. My three daughters by birth and in-law, mothers and wives and professional women who pack 30 hours into 24-hour days and eight days into seven-day weeks. I love them, and I am so very proud of them, too, but I worry about them doing too much, trying to be everything to everyone. So it is for them I will wear red this Friday. I hope you join me.

Till next time.

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Comments: One of my co- workers died of a massive heat attack two weeks ago. She was forty-five years old and at a healthy weight, but she didn't have a healthy lifestyle. She was a chronic smoker and had struggled with anorexia years ago. Most people associate heart disease with overweight old people. There are so many other things that play a role in heart disease. Thanks for posting this.
# posted by Blogger Shawn : February 1, 2011 at 6:30 PM   Thanks for stopping, Shawn!
# posted by Blogger Liz Flaherty : February 1, 2011 at 6:38 PM   tear....tear....
# posted by Blogger Laura : February 2, 2011 at 5:40 AM   Wow, Shawn. Sad.
I worry about my heart, and this year have committed to losing some weight and getting some excersize. Thanks for the reminder, Liz.
# posted by Blogger D'Ann : February 4, 2011 at 11:29 AM   Post a Comment

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